This short 6 day tour is designed to target at least one member of all 7 endemic bird families of PNG – Crested & Tit Berrypecker, Blue-capped Ifrit, Mottled Berryhunter, Wattled Ploughbill, Lesser Melampitta, Crested & Loria’s Satinbird & Fan-tailed Berrypecker. Visiting just two areas, both close to Mt Hagen this tour give you a good chance of cleaning up on the current New Guinea Bird families in one surgical strike.
This is not a general birding tour and is set up for specific results. Although a number of other birds, including several birds of paradise will undoubtedly be seen, the priorities are members of each of the endemic families. Because of this it is not recommended for the more general birder. However the same destinations will give a very good short introduction to New Guinea birds if the itinerary is approached differently as this is a very bird rich area.
This area also has a number of options for exploring the fascinating cultural side of New Guinea.
Distances are not great but there is some rough walking up steep and often muddy tracks involved. Flights in and out of Mt Hagen can be affected by weather conditions especially during the wetter months of the year though rain can occur at any time. During the winter it can get very cold.
Kumul Lodge is a more upmarket than usual landowner lodge made of local materials. The rooms have private bathrooms. Rondon Ridge is a well appointed, comfortable modern western style lodge.
Day 1: Fly into Port Moresby. Transfer to the domestic terminal and take the flight up to Mt Hagen where you will be met by the staff at Kumul Lodge.
Day 2: Birding the Kumul area. Members of all 7 endemic families can be seen in the Kumul area. They are not all easy but can be seen. The morning will be spent away from the lodge while the afternoon will concentrate on species closer to the lodge itself
Day 3: Second full day in the Kumul area. Further exploration of the Pigites area if necessary while the afternoon can be spent in the lodge vicinity.
Day 4: After breakfast transfer to Rondon Ridge. Balance of the day will be spent walking the trails around the lodge. This is one of the best places to see Mottled Berryhunter.
Day 5: Full day exploring the area around Rondon Ridge on foot.
Day 6: After breakfast transfer back to Mt Hagen area and take the morning flight back to Port Moresby. Here you will transfer to the international terminal and begin your journey home.
A number of extensions to other parts of the country can be arranged for addition to either the start or the end of this tour.